I don’t think many people learn First Aid/CPR with the expectation that they will have to use it – ever. I know some professions this is an obvious (paramedics, doctors, nurses etc.) however, I learned it because I am the co-chair of our Joint Health and Safety Committee at my work so while I needed to have the certification, we have a security guard on site at all times who is the main person responsible for delivering any aid as required. I did take my learning quite seriously though and I fully participated in the two-day learning experience.
However, never in my wildest dreams did I ever see me using it and I never actually took time to think about what my reaction would be like if I had to.
Until last night.
Last night was our first Spring session of
torture Zumba. The class was fully booked and the room we practice in is tiny. About 20 minutes after class started two women walked in wearing jeans and long sleeve button up shirts – totally NOT Zumba appropriate. However they weren’t really moving around a lot so I didn’t think anything of it. As class ended, I went to talk with our instructor Diana (who is fantastic by the way) and heard my name being called from the other side of the room by my girlfriend A. I looked over and on the floor was one of those two women shaking having a seizure! I dropped my wallet and ran over to the woman. Turns out the other woman was this girls mother. She was having a full on seizure and for what seemed like an eternity (but really probably two seconds) I had no idea what to do. I panicked. I heard someone scream out to roll her on her side and as soon as I heard that I immediately remembered. I rolled her on her side and put a jacket under her head and bent her leg towards the floor and held onto loosely her while she shook.
Now I need to make two side notes that pissed me off:
1. When you learn First Aid you practice on a mannequin that weighs less than one pound. Turning a real, seizing person on their side is NOT easy.
2. This mother so nonchalantly was like “she’s fine, leave her alone, she’ll come out of it”. This was as her daughters head was bouncing off the hard floor like a basketball. She kept trying to make this poor girl sit up as she was shaking and I kept pushing her off and telling HER to leave her daughter alone. I understand that as her mother you have probably seen this 100 times, but I am First Aid certified and I KNOW that you never leave a seizing victim lying on their back with nothing under their head. She was driving me, and the rest of the class who remained behind, crazy.
Finally the girl stopped shaking and rolled back onto her back and started making eye contact again. It took a few minutes for her to come out of it but when she did my heart started beating again too. I haven’t been that scared in a long time. My instructor was impressed and in a way I was too. I mean, I didn’t do much and was limited because of the mother – but I know now, that if GOD FORBID that ever happens again I will take charge much quicker regardless of the situation because if anything had happened to that girl because I let her mother partially dictate what was happening, I would have felt horrible!
I want to make a plea to ALL my readers. Get First Aid/CPR certified – you NEVER know when you may need to know “how to save a life”